Being of outstanding natural beauty, the lake, shoreline, and surroundings are one of the nation's most popular tourist destinations with over 750,000 visitors in 2013. Consequently, tourism has become an important economic driver for the region, and particularly for lakeshore areas. While the growth in tourism is destined to continue, its impact on the pristine and fragile environments and ecosystems of the lake and its vicinity are of increasing concern. Being both oligotrophic (nutrient-poor) and endorheic (lacking conventional outflows), the lake is extremely sensitive to elevated nutrient and contaminant inflows. Unchecked, it is therefore increasingly vulnerable to excessive liquid and solid waste pollution from the expanding human activity.
Cholpon-Ata, a small town on the lake's northern shoreline, highlights these concerns. Although enjoying the benefits of a flourishing tourism industry, with over 238,000 tourist visits in 2012, its environmental pollution and subsequent public health risk potential is an increasing concern due its dilapidated sewerage network, treatment facilities, and undeveloped solid waste management system. Reflecting other lakeshore towns and settlements, it emphasizes the crucial need for environmental infrastructure improvements in order to protect and sustain the lake and surrounding areas.
The government of the Kyrgyz Republic has recognized the significant environmental and natural resource values of the Issyk-Kul region, and is committed to ensuring its long-term environmental sustainability. As a result, it has adopted the National Sustainable Development Strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic for the Period 2013 2017, which establishes tourism as a key pillar of economic development while specifically mentioning the Issyk-Kul region in the context of national development.
PROJECT RATIONALE AND LINKAGE TO COUNTRY/REGIONAL STRATEGY
The project will improve public health and environmental conditions within the Issyk-Kul Lake and its vicinity by expanding and improving wastewater systems in selected urban centers around its shoreline. Being 180-km long, 60-km wide, and with surface area of 6,200-km2, the lenticular-shaped lake is the world's second largest high-altitude lake. It is fed by a total of 118 rivers and streams, including hot springs and snow melt. The wider region is designated as a Ramsar (wetlands) site of globally significant biodiversity and forms part of UNESCO's Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve that extends to over 43,000-km2. Rich with environmental, archeological and cultural resources, it also provides a vital habitat for threatened and endangered species.
Improved health, hygiene, and sanitation conditions of residents in the selected towns of if Issyk-Kul region.
Improved wastewater services in the selected towns of Issyk-Kul oblast
The PPTA team will consist of 11 international and 6 national consultants. The total input will be 22 international person-months and 28 national person-months.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF ADB
The Accountability Mechanism is an independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by an Asian Development Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Accountability Mechanism, they may investigate to assess whether the Asian Development Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can learn more about the Accountability Mechanism and how to file a complaint at: http://www.adb.org/site/accountability-mechanism/main
Responsible ADB Officer Shen, Lu
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban Development and Water Division, CWRD
Ministry of Finance
Public Debt Department Room 500
58 Erkindik Boulevard
Bishkek 720040, Kyrgzy Republic